‘Tis the season of New Year’s Resolutions, and I’ve been thinking about what congregational New Year’s Resolutions might look like.
Here’s one from Jan Edmiston’s post on the subject called New Year’s Resolutions: Church Edition: “Remember that Jesus did not come to establish a a self-serving Christianity (e.g. I don’t like drums in church. The color of the sanctuary carpet annoys me. The church doesn’t have as many potlucks anymore and I love potlucks.) Jesus established a movement so profound that it’s supposed to reflect heaven on earth. (e.g. Love your enemy. Pray for those who persecute you. Return violence with healing. Share your stuff.)”
Here are some other possibilities, in no particular order:
- Long-time members might resolve to spend time with one new person or new family and form a more-than-superficial friendship. For example, couples that enjoy going out to eat together might invite a newer couple to join them.
- Resolve to pray for the people and neighborhood around the church in a sustained way through the year. Who knows what kind of community engagement this might lead to?
- Go out in the neighborhood and do a random act of kindness as a group.
- Resist the temptation to say, “This is how we’ve always done it.” Resolve to try something new this year and not be afraid to fail. God can used closed doors as well as open ones to guide us into the future.
- Practice imagining how some aspect of your church’s life and practice comes across to a newcomer or a guest.
- Think of the church building as a tool for ministry and find one new way to use it to bless others in the community.
- Like Jesus talking with the woman at the well, take time to hang out with people who do not know Jesus, or who are unchurched. Do something away from the building out in the community.
- Take time to learn and sing at least one song or hymn that is cherished by a different generation in the church from your own, even if it isn’t your personal favorite.
What are some more possibilities?